Your Blossoming Tree

I first want to say that I’m so proud of you.

Even if you’ve only made a pros and cons list …

Even if you’ve only drafted your breakup email …

Even if you’ve just considered that a client is no longer a good fit for your business.


You’ve taken big steps this week. You’re going to reap the benefits, whether you break up with your client or not, because taking control of your business is empowering.

Now, before we say goodbye, I want you to ask yourself one very important question:

“HOW did I get into this situation and end up with a client I dread working with?”

(Or, if you’re not in the situation, “How can I prevent this from ever happening?”)

Well … there may be a few different things that happened:

1. It was a rookie mistake.

I know how it is just starting out as a copywriter.

You’re nervous about marketing yourself. You’re afraid everyone will think you’re a hack—that you don’t really know how to write a persuasive sales letter or a mouth-watering lift note.

And because you’re both nervous and excited to get started, you’ll take on any project that any client wants to grace you with, right?

It’s okay to admit it.

In fact, it’s exactly what I did with the client I’ve been talking about this week, Mitch.

I was so excited that he thought I could do the job that I jumped in without really thinking.

2. The opportunity turned out to be different than what you were expecting.

Maybe you were expecting a few projects every few weeks. But it’s turned into a full-time copywriting position where you need to be at your computer 10 hours a day.

I have another client like that, and it’s not an easy situation.

Being the “on-call creative” is not my idea of the writer’s life … that’s another j-o-b!

3. Your business has evolved, and the client is no longer a good fit for you.

Many copywriters start out as generalists … to get their feet wet … to see if the writer’s life is right for them.

But as time goes on, you and your business evolve. You figure out what you really want to be writing.

Sometimes that doesn’t include your current clients.

That’s okay. It’s called getting focused, and it’s a part of everyone’s business.

No matter how you ended up with a client you can’t wait to leave, I have a great tip for preventing it from happening in the future:

Give yourself 24 hours to consider a job before accepting it.

When a new client approaches you, you’re going to be excited and happy.

Even veteran copywriters say they still get caught up in the moment and have to give themselves time to objectively consider a new job.

Ask yourself:

  • Is this client, as a person or as a business, someone that matches my ethics?
  • Am I willing to work with them as a person?
  • Is this client in my niche?
  • If not, does the topic excite me?
  • Does this client have a budget that will accommodate my fees?

If any one of those five is questionable, then my recommendation is you politely decline the job.

Trust me, it’s better to hold out for the client that fits rather than settle for one that doesn’t match your niche or can’t pay your fees. If you’re desperate and need to pay bills, I recommend protecting yourself by informing your client you will be available on a project-to-project basis only. That way, you can make money, but you’re not stuck either.

You might be too busy doing something you hate to look up and see the better opportunity staring you in the face.

Once you do break up with the client that doesn’t quite fit you, you’ll find your energy renewed.

With renewed energy, finding a client that does fit you is so much easier!

This is all for the better of your business so that you can grow to your fullest potential faster.

If you need more guidance, please check out my article “8 Dos and Don’ts for Breaking Up with a Client.”

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Published: May 4, 2012

1 Response to “Your Blossoming Tree”

  1. This is an excellent post that reminds us about how difficult it is to find the right client.

    To start with, it may be necessary to hang on to a few clients just for you to get your feet wet.

    We all have to learn the ropes when we are greenhorns and rookies, after all.

    Once you have established your credibility, however, maybe it is time to move on.

    Then, the ball is in your court and you are in a position to dictate terms and call the shots.

    Thanks for a nice article. Cheers.

    Archan Mehta

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